There is a theory that relates to human behavior known as the 10%-80%-10% principle. It’s simple; 10 percent of workforces are elite performers who give it all they have, all the time. 80 percent of employees are the nucleus; great workers who don’t quite have the drive or determination to be an elite performer by themselves. And finally, the bottom 10%; a group that is uninterested or defiant, and they won’t have the drive regardless of what happens to them.
Every generation is made up of elite talent, core performers and those on the other end of the spectrum that just don’t get it. Perhaps this millennial generation tilts more towards 7%-83%-10%, but either way, they have plenty of elite performers that will help organizations navigate this quickly-changing business market.
It’s a leader’s job to bring more millennials (or the 83%) into the world of elite performers. Because when you do that this generation will stay loyal and stay at their current company. The organizations that do this will win, and they will win for a long time. Here are 3 ideas for you to try:
When I say train, I don’t mean equip them with company, product, or basic onboarding knowledge. That is table stakes. Invest in them outside the normal company curriculum; such as online learning courses, leadership development, corporate conferences, local in person workshops, keynote speakers, etc. This is probably is the easiest thing to do because most millennials are eager to improve their skills and can probably tell you where they would like help or development.
Take your micromanaging shoes off and put on a pair of empowerment shoes. Provide opportunities regardless of how big or small; to be involved in decisions, projects, brainstorming sessions, etc. This millennial generation is capable of a lot and by empowering them you will get less entitlement and more proactive work.
Make them Compete
Good old fashion competition brings out the best in young professionals. Find ways to pit millennials against each other and offer money, time off, gift cards, or other items going to the winner. It could be as simple as a one day contest or as complicated as year long contest, but the point is to get them competing. Not only will they respond, they will love it and look forward to the next challenge.
My hope is that more leaders in organizations will take ownership of their millennial turnover problem. Why, you ask? Because talent and new innovative ideas is going to carry businesses forward. I believe this Millennial generation has the talent, they just need their leaders to help bring it out of them and get them into that top 10%.
John Eades is the President and CEO of LearnLoft. He is passionate about the development of people. He writes and speaks about leadership, modern learning techniques, and generational differences in organizations.
Getting Leadership Ready: LearnLoft's out of the box training approach to helping young professionals understand what leadership is all about and helping them get noticed as a potential company leader. Find out more here.
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